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Allardyce: Tombides loss "a massive blow"

Filed: Thursday, 24th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce believes the recent death of Dylan Tombides has affected everyone at the club.

The 20-year-old Academy forward died a week ago following a three-year battle against testicular cancer. And Big Sam admitted that his passing had cast a shadow over everything at West Ham this week.

"It's been hugely difficult," he admitted. "It's a massive blow to everybody that knew Dylan, because of how many times we've seen him fighting this intolerable illness.

"We had so much hope [due to] the determination he showed to recover from the treatment he had and recover from the disease he had. It looked so many times like he'd recovered.

"He was fit and never wanted to miss a day's training, but unfortunately in the end it's been a sad day for all of us, especially for the family. We're all very sad but we have to move on in terms of being professional, but not forget the memory of Dylan."

One of those most affected by Dylan's passing was best friend George Moncur, currently on loan at Partick Thistle.

"Dylan was my best mate in the whole world," he said. "We were so close. When his brother, Taylor, texted me that hed passed away I burst into tears immediately. I couldnt believe what had happened and that someone could be taken from us so young.

"Dylan was so funny, great to be around and everyone loved him. He was an inspiration. I believed he had the ability to get to the first team and while it was going to be hard coming back from cancer, he was strong enough to do it."

Moncur, whose father John was a guest on the KUMB Podcast last week instinctively responded to his friend's passing by having Tombides' name tattooed onto his lower arm.

"He meant so much to me I decided to get a tattoo in his memory so its almost like well be together forever," added Moncur. "The decision was instinctive.

"A tattoo is going to be there forever and when I play now, Dylan will always be in my mind and it will be like Im playing for my mate. I know hell be watching me from above."

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